If you are searching for a Webtoon that is a quick read, but focuses on a coming of age story and a Latinx family; American Road Trip is the perfect fit for you. When it comes to family, bringing out the ugly truths and struggles of individuals makes a story. The creator, Patrick Flores-Scott, and transmasc Latinx artist, Little Corvus, were able to make it possible. This Webtoon is completed, with fifty episodes to enjoy the journey of the Avila family.
American Road Trip: Journey
Ever since his older brother left to serve in the army to fight Iraq, Teodoro Avila, aka T, has been a bum. He hasn’t felt motivated or driven. He spends his time playing video games and listening to his parents fight and his older sister, Xochitl, to pick up the pieces. When he meets the girl of his dreams, he has this spark of motivation to work hard and fight for it. When his older brother Manny shows up, the Avilas are shocked by how he is different. Depictions of trauma and mental health are in this Webtoon. Determined to impress the girl of his dreams, he denies what’s really going on with his family, his brother. He studies hard, but gets tricked into a road trip by Xochitl, will this help heal Manny or himself?
Teodoro goes by the nickname T. He hasn’t been motivated in high school and usually spends his time playing video games with his best friend, Caleb. But, when he meets an acquaintance from his family’s friend, Wendy Martinez, suddenly he is crushing hard. He gets inspiration to start taking high school seriously and study hard to go to U-Dub University with her. With the support of Caleb, they both decide to make a pact and take their last years of high school seriously. However, when it comes to his family’s personal life; his brother Manny coming back from the war, he keeps it hidden. But when reality smacks him in the face, he realizes that working hard can be a way out to fulfill something bigger than himself.
Wendy is a friend that Teodoro knows from childhood on occassion. She is studying to be a woman of science in health care. She wants to go to medical school. She was raised by a single mother, with a father who was an artist and left them. She had interest in art but it slowly declined. When she met Teodoro she was thrilled by the support he was showing her and also that his brother was coming home. As their friendship grows, so does their romantic interest. But, what happens when T reveals some truths that she didn’t know in the beginning?
She goes by Xo, and has purple streaks in her hair. She is the peacemaker, the planner, and the most mature of all the family. She pushes and nags everyone when it comes to family conflict. She keeps her parents in line when they argue, she lectures T on his studies. Even when Manny comes home, she’s prepared to face the worst. Xo decides to trick T to go on a roadtrip that she planned for Manny. The brothers need to connect and it helps to have all siblings together. When she finds out the trauma that Manny suffered through, she will do her absolute hardest to get him the help he deserves. But her music career with Ray is a Girl Band is put on the back burner.
Coming from Iraq after the war has been a huge transition. It’s great to see his little brother and sister. However, there’s trauma that keeps him up at night, that makes him think he’s been sucked back into the chaos. It’s affecting those around him. However, he has a huge heavy secret that weighs him. With his constant body shakes and nightmares, of course he isn’t surprised when Xo makes him go on a roadtrip and seek help from people he knew or have been veterans.
He is T’s best friend and video game partner. He supports T in everything he does, when he falls for a girl and wants to take school seriously again, he says go for it. He also wants to get back on the high school study train. Even when T has intense family drama going on, he gives him a place to stay, he keeps T on track when he has desires to quit. The most motivating friend ever. Caleb is supportive when T explains he is on a roadtrip and that he won’t be able to see him for a while. But Caleb holds up and is patient, he hopes to hear back from Teodoro very soon.
A fair warning that this Webtoon deals with PTSD, trauma, mental health conditions. Some depictions may be upsetting to some viewers. However, American Road Trip is a learning journey for those who don’t know about these conditions and for those who have a loved one going through a similar experience. Whether it be the protagonist or each Avila family member.
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